Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Ras 'Atiya, Tue 16.3.10, Morning

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Natalie P., Ruti R. Translator: Charles K.

The territories are under closureinfo-icon from Friday, 19.3.  No entry to Israel. 

7:00  Habla agricultural crossing

This gate is open as usual during the closure – giving farmers access to their land in the seam zone.

About 30 Palestinians waiting to cross.  Today the inspecting is faster and simpler that we’ve ever seen at this checkpoint:  A soldier at the entrance lets groups of five through and two soldiers wait for them four meters further on, on the way to the exit to the land.  Each Palestinian shows and ID card and a permit, the soldier (one of them) looks at it, returns it and tells the person to go through.  Sometimes looks at what’s in the bag.  No computer entry, no inspection in the room.  25 people went through in 10 minutes. 

7:25  Ras a-Tiya checkpoint

During the past few days there’s been a protest and school strike here because of a new demand by the brigade commander that female teachers have to be inspected each day in the inspection room.

A school bus enters the village, a soldier gets on and checks the passengers.  A 16-year-old youth has to get off and go through the inspection room, where he also shows his documents. 

We left – Tom and Smadar are here to see what happens today with the female teachers. 

7:35  Eliyahu crossing

About 30 people waiting to cross to the west.  There’s a turnstile and an inspection room.  Most of those being checked are people on foot whose employers will pick them up on the other side of the checkpoint.

Three people at a time enter the room, and come out 2-3 minutes later.  Someone who just came out (7:50)said that two female soldiers inside are doing the checks.  He arrived at the checkpoint at 6:30. 

Yesterday, according to him and to his companions, it took a very long time to go through.